“Cares about the details” – Rio Ferdinand delivers his honest verdict on Steve McLaren’s return to Manchester United

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Rio Ferdinand has backed Manchester United to appoint Steve McClaren as the assistant to Erik ten Hag. The former defender claims the Englishman is a ‘football man’ and cares about every single detail of the game.

Reports in the media suggest that Ten Hag has asked Manchester United to appoint Steve McClaren as his assistant manager. The Dutchman will take over at the club this summer and is working on getting his backroom staff ready.

Erik ten Hag is in London today 🛬The new Man Utd boss has made it a priority to bring Steve McClaren into his coaching staff 📝 https://t.co/8C94A0AwKt

While speaking on his FIVE YouTube show, Rio backed the appointment of McClaren. He believes the former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson would be ideal for the club right now and said:

“What you get with Steve McClaren is somebody who is a football man, loves the game, is enthusiastic, meticulous, cares about the details. I think he’ll be a good addition. What’s good with ten Hag is that he’s already got a relationship from before. And he will be able to steer him in the right direction.”

Manchester United legend praises Steve McClaren

Rio Ferdinand also praised Steve McClaren for thinking ahead of time and being at the forefront of the mental aspect of football. He said:

“He was always ahead of the curve. I liked his bravery in that (mental mindset work). Because at that time a lot of them players would have been like ‘what’s all this about, he’s never played football in his life’. That could have been the response but Steve McClaren was brave in bringing that element to the team and wanted us to understand that part. You look now and he was ahead of his time in that sense.”

Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren official statement soon at #mufc. Ten Hag wanted both of them and the club completed the agreement as expected. [@FabrizioRomano]

McClaren and Ten Hag have worked together before when the Englishman took charge of FC Twente in the Eredivisie. The two were at the Dutch club for two years and helped them with their maiden league title in 2010. However, McClaren left the months a few weeks later to take charge of VfL Wolfsburg before returning in 2012 and resigning a few months later.

At Manchester United, McClaren was the assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson from 1999 to 2001. He then left for Middlesbrough and began his managerial career. The Englishman is now at Derby County in a part-time consultancy role after stepping down as their technical director in September after the club went into administration.


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